Friday, 28 June 2013

The Upsteps reopened

The Upsteps in Birkdale
The Upsteps pub in Upper Aughton Road, Birkdale, has been closed for nearly a year, but last week I read in our local free sheet that it has been reopened, so I decided to call in this afternoon. The pub's layout hasn't been changed - there are still four separate drinking areas - but it has been redecorated throughout. There were two handpumps, only one of which was in use serving Caledonian Flying Scotsman. I'm not a fan of Caledonian beers, but this was in reasonable condition.

I noticed that they are starting a quiz night next Monday with a prize of a gallon of beer. They are also putting on a live band this evening: the Sue Raymond Band which features local guitarist Mick Cooper, with local singer-guitarist Derek Boak down to do a couple of sets too. I recall that several years ago, we used to have an acoustic song and music session in this pub when the real ales on sale were from the Coach House Brewery of Warrington.

All in all, it looks as though the new licensees are trying to make a go of it. However, I notice there is a 'for sale' sign outside the pub. The pub is owned by Star Pubs & Bars (the old Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company) who have put the freehold on sale, which suggests to me that the pub's future is not entirely certain. It is the only pub in the area that sells real ale - the Blundell Arms just a few hundred yards down the road has been keg only for years - so let's hope it manages to achieve a more stable future.

P.S. 29 June. I went to see the band last night, and as I walked through the door, they asked me to do a few songs, so I did. There was a young rockabilly band (Rockabily Rebels, I think they were called) in support of the main act. The pub was busy with a lot of people enjoying the music and generally having a good time. The Upsteps describes itself as a community pub, and it certainly seems to be heading in the right direction.

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